Years ago, emaciated and terrified, Charlie was barely surviving on cardboard and good luck in rural North Carolina. He was very elusive, and not open to human companionship.
After being spotted by a future leader in the animal welfare community, he became a challenge, an inspiration, and, little did anyone know at the time, her first rescue of many. It took much plotting and planning, along with some well placed dog treats, to capture him, but the mission was eventually accomplished. As is often the case when the hurt is great, and the soul is lost, the best place you can turn to is your family, and that is just what she did for Charlie.
To ensure his safety, she brought him to her sister's house, and the healing process began. His first night was spent with his new owner sleeping right next to him. The patience and understanding continued, and he completed the transition into their home and hearts.
Gradually, Charlie turned from a skittish and unapproachable dog to a member of the family. He became the dog that jumped into playtime to "monitor" his boy. Loyal and true, he would wait for his dad to come home, always wagging his tail and happy to see him, no matter how late he was. For some reason, Charlie liked to stick his nose deep into his well worn work boots- no one is sure what he found so interesting in there, but we'll leave that between the two of the them.
Why the creator of dogs had to make their lives so damn short, we will never know. After 17 years, Charlie left this world last Saturday, in the peaceful comfort of his own backyard.
He will remain the symbol that no matter how awful and ugly things seem, no matter how lost the soul has become, love changes everything. Be thankful for those who can see through barriers, and reach in to pull you through. There is a word for these types, and it is called family. Be grateful and cherish them always, just as Charlie did with his.